Ted Hawkins

Nowhere to Run

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First of all, these aren't exactly undiscovered Hawkins recordings. This album was first released in a very limited edition in 1989, under the title I Love You Too. Reputedly Hawkins' personal favorite among his work, it's a playful disc indeed. There are touches of reggae, notably on "Who Do You Love" and "Dollar Tree," while "Baby" harks back in time -- it's the first song Hawkins ever penned. Perhaps the most unusual cut (and certainly unlike anything else he recorded) is "Nursery Rhymes," which is exactly that, including a heartbreaking setting of "London Bridge Is Falling Down." With able support by Messer, Hawkins sounds relaxed, and never overwhelmed. The subject matter is typical -- jail, love, and fickle fate -- but none the worse for that; Hawkins was an able chronicler of life and the heart. His own guitar work might be rudimentary, but that doesn't mean it's ineffective -- he gets the instrument to do what he needs, which is offer a backdrop to his gorgeous, soulful voice, with its innate, inviting voice. This is a welcome addition to the Ted Hawkins canon.

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